After losing eight varsity players to graduation, including three all-state players, there were some questions as to whether the Lakeview boys’ tennis team would be able to continue its winning ways in the 2013 all-city tournament.
The Spartans squashed those doubts on Thursday afternoon though, sweeping all eight flights of the tournament on their way to a 21st consecutive city championship.
“We lost a lot of seniors coming in this year, so I’m sure people thought we wouldn’t be as skilled as last year,” said Lakeview junior Tyler Horan. “We’ve won the tournament for a while; it’s a big part of the coach’s and our goals each season, so it it’s nice to come in and take all-city again.”
Horan was the city tournament’s No. 3 singles champion. He didn’t lose a set all day, as was the case for every Spartan in all eight flights.
Lakeview’s Cameron Babas was the tourney’s No. 1 singles champion while the Spartans’ Andrew Behrndt and Brandon Corra took top honors in the No. 1 doubles flight.
“Going into the tournament I wasn’t that confident because we graduated so many guys and we haven’t been out on the court too much this early in the season,” said Lakeview head coach Mike McGinnis. “But, we had some good, tough matches out there that we ended up on the right side of things. I’m proud of our guys. They saw the pressure of the city tournament and held up to it and did just fine.”
Lakeview was first with 24 points, Harper Creek finished second with 12, getting second-place finishes in every flight, and Pennfield was third with six.
Battle Creek Central, the last non-Lakeview team to win the tourney (in 1992), did not attend this year’s tournament.
For many, the all-city tournament is a great way to kick-start the boys’ prep tennis fall season.
“It’s always about growth at this time in the season and as long as we’re getting better each day we’re going to be OK,” said Pennfield head coach John Corcoran. “There’s always great competition in this tournament so it helps us prepare for our KVA conference matches and the conference tournament.”